Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism Nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness

Ted Honderich

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Effects, Determinism, Neither Compatibilism Nor Incompatibilism, Consciousness

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This article expresses the kernel of hard determinism with regard to a certain traditional idea of free will. It argues that the traditional notion of free will requires a power of ultimate “origination” of choices or actions that is incompatible with determinism. And it argues that no such power of ultimate origination could exist in the real world, so that libertarian free will in this traditional sense is impossible. The discussion reviews arguments for these claims. In addition, it expresses belief that determinism in physics is still an open question, despite quantum theory, and that, in any case, human behavior, neural events, and human choices would not be significantly affected by indeterminism in the microworld.

Keywords: hard determinism; ultimate origination; free will; libertarian free will; physics

Article.  7281 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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